Black Water

June 20, 2019
by Karen Phillips Curran
For many years I have been painting images of water. It began at a stressful juncture of my life and I have used the images as a continuing challenge for creativity as well as mindfullness. Creating rythmic imagery has a calming effect on me, the artist. I can tell from feedback about the works, that they create that same calm feeling when looked upon. I am grateful for that. These three acrylics are called ‘Black Water’. They are for sale on Artbomb …or from me here 560$ plus shipping and taxes  
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The Time it Takes

June 8, 2019
by Karen Phillips Curran
People often ask me how long a piece takes to create. these days I tell them almost 50 years, as long as I have been practicing my art. There is no clock in my studio. time takes on a different value here. It moves to its own drummer. I often put an album on repeat when I am here. That way no change in atmosphere can break my paint spell. Sometimes the day passes in a flash- other times each second is experienced, recorded, with full awareness. The scratching of the brush whilst laying on a scumble often attracts my attention. The sound tells me something I need to know about the paint. The tug or the pull or glide of the brush tells me a tale that I, as the artist, only knows.
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My creative process begins long before it ‘appears’ in ‘real’ life. They say it takes 10,000 hours to become masterful at a skill. Some multitude of those hours are encoded in the thought processes that go on in the beginning, middle and end of creation. My studio is part of my home, I’ve worked like that all my creative life. When I did murals, museum work and stage sets, I would immerse myself in that place, creating the environment by being in and of it. I would live waking and dreaming of this monumental art I was creating, until it was finished. At times, the ordinary moments of life- doing the dishes, folding laundry, sweeping a floor- the kinds of activities that hardly need a lot of attention (having done them all my 60+ years), are exactly the formula for creative thought. I can go places in my mind and create pieces there. I can solve issues, imagine new colours or old colours, and explore new ideas. This exploration and extrapolation are where the creative process begins, only then does the actual, physical painting process begin. Like Life, paintings rarely turn out as planned. No matter, I don’t think they are supposed to. They […]
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why do i paint?

December 18, 2018
by Karen Phillips Curran
                A hay wagon rattles past me, again. Its dust settles on us here, country roads in the summer…that smell, the dust, the sounds… I spend a fair amount of time on country roads, I have to in order to get anywhere from here. the sights I pass are iconic in a purely Canadian way. They reflect my environment. Here I’ve created some interesting pairs. They are acrylic painted on canvas that is attached to wooden ovals. They are ready to hang.                     Some of these are favourite fields, all are places that made an impression on me each time I saw them. They are familiar to me.                 These are all summer images, they feel hot, sultry and dreamlike. Let me know if you want them for your wall…$350 to 450 for the pairs…shipping would be extra.  
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I awaken. I’m in the country. The sound of fog is in the air. I know it before I open my eyes, it is a quiet like no other. An early morning fisherman appears then disappears. His orange vest glows eerily until he is gone. Silently, I wish him luck. Later the sun starts to break through the mists, and green is everywhere, the shoreline, the rising stand of cedar and spruce, the water’s reflections, and if I use my artistic insight I can get the foggy air to feel green too. Here are two new pieces I’ve been working on lately. They are acrylic and graphite on canvas and board. the larger one is 43″ x 5.5″ and the smaller one is 33″ x 5.5.
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Recently I was commissioned to paint a landscape in my Local Colour series. Landscapes have long been a series of mine, first in watercolour and now I do more acrylic landscapes. This one is called Summer Breezes and I do hope the reason is obvious. It is in what we call landscape format, a long thin one, designed to fit in a specific area of the clients beautiful rural home. It gently reminds the viewer of the hills and trees seen from their windows. I thoroughly enjoyed the challenge, appreciating the input the client gave me during the process. They were happy to receive their piece and had the hammer and hanging hooks at ready! So If you see something you like here on my website but want to commission me to do another in a different size or format to fit a specific wall, get in touch! i would be more than happy to talk to you about it! It’s as easy as that!
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Riverstones

February 15, 2018
by Karen Phillips Curran
Water is my most prevalent muse. I must admit even puddles entrance me…  Like my life, it flows, rages, trickles, stagnates, surrounds any obstacle then continues on its journey.  “Stones and Lilies” is a 22x 30 watercolour on paper mounted on 1.5″ deep cradleboard, ready to hang in your home. $975 plus shipping. The accumulation of water-washed stones tells us of time and the irrefutable strength and magnetic power of stones. These basic elements struggle to live in harmony, soothing, rubbing and, to us, timeless. They share a dimension. They seem immortal, yet, each stone’s individuality can be examined. Who has not felt compelled to pick up and examine a washed stone? They all call out, they speak to us. The water laughs, menaces, pleads, caresses and more. It can entice us to fall under its hypnotic spell. We fall into it. We are lulled. We can dream our dreams See more of Karen’s work soon at The Riverstones Studio in Springtown, Ontario. http://www.phillipscurran.ca/ Images of the Madawaska  
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Winter tales

December 16, 2017
by Karen Phillips Curran
It is a wintry day here in Springtown and nowhere near that time when thoughts of spring appear, unbidden. I have several of my paintings here in the house that can remind me of the promise of spring. The bright blue light of a mid-winter day outside is blinding in contrast to the warm enfolding colours of spring. My patience wanes as the weather intimidates us with its burden of, yet again, more fresh fallen snow and ice. Winter will run its course like it always does. This year my partner’s newly built studio is a short walk through the woods. It means will be in touch with winter walks on a daily basis, back and forth through the woods like little red riding hood, except my coat is a plum colour. So I remind myself to be patient, that spring will appear one day. The maple bush will come alive with activity. Snow will be tramped down to mud and old maples will lovingly be bled of sap. The smell of wood smoke and the distant call of returning geese will once again reign. A new cycle of growth and rejuvenation will begin. I can’t wait.
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The art of life I’ve learned that life is lived in stages, sometimes one slips into the next unnoticed, other times the changes are abrupt. One’s circumstance can dictate your progress. One’s will helps define your limitations. Some blame their life events upon circumstance, but it has been shown to me over the 6 decades of my life, that our will can clearly overcome circumstance. Some folks appear to have been handed life on a silver platter. Those platters are, in some ways, deceitful. If you could walk a mile in their shoes one would discover the cost of those apparent gifts. The one thing I’ve been all my life, (apart from female), is an artist. As such, over the years, many hundreds of well-meaning folks have told me how lucky I am to have talent. Yet, talent alone is not nearly enough to succeed as an artist. Determination and a will to pursue art making are mandatory to be able to call oneself an artist. You cannot chase something while standing still. You cannot be an artist without an artistic practice. So that is why I say, Life is an art and art is my life.  
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